Smokin' Pigeons...

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We woke up to a misty Smokey's atmosphere and had to cook breakfast under the tarp which was attached to the bus and yet again Bob did a great job again as the French toast chef!

We knew the final day of the trip was around the corner so took the opportunity to take a few snaps of the daily routines, breakfast, loading the bags, refilling the water canisters and the sight of the two tortoise buses next to each other.  We did a bus toss, removing everything and Chris was in charge of the bus crew, cleaning every nook and cranny of the bus and making sure that all the lost property was put out on the tarp so it could eventually find its owner..

Once done the bus packed up and said goodbye to the Smokey’s (though we had not really seen much of it in fairness) and also to the other bus, whose journey would take them to the heat we were trying so hard to leave behind.  As we were all desperate for a good shower, fortunately today’s activity was swimming and this time not in a river but a proper outdoor pool!  We returned to Pigeon Forge’s swimming centre to find the gates closed and the only option for us was to pay $7 each for the indoor pool & shower facilities (a fee which we quickly yet reluctantly paid)!  As our group was so large (and apparently Green Tortoise had already been banned from this place) we entered in small groups to try and avoid detection!  The facilities were great, showers, pool with diving board, gym, basketball court and other all American type sporting facilities, though we all headed for the pool and started swimming relays and moving onto water basketball, girls versus boys, which became very competitive, particularly between the couples!!

Once finished we jumped back on the bus to head toward our dinner spot, en route we listened to Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, a band who we had never heard of but whose music could not have been better suited to that moment.  Bob then reminisced of the fact he had been to Woodstock and the story that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young wrote one of the songs we listened to en route to the festival (it was the first time they had played publically and they were instantly famous).

We headed a little further back in the Park for dinner, again the rain returned to haunt us but this time we had a good spot under cover.  As we all knew this would be our last night with the whole bus together (some of the guys were getting off the bus in Washington D.C the following day) we took individual and group photos to mark the occasion.  The guitar that had been bought at least 10 days before finally got played when Bob, Helen and Caesar played some tunes in the background, there was a feeling of the end but also the beginning...

We packed up the bus again and headed on our second to last night drive to Washington DC.
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